Thursday, February 12, 2009

Reverse Switching?

In my years of working on Macs I have never known of anyone who was willing to switch back to a Windows PC after using a Mac. However after years of helping people make the transition I may have found the first one.

What motivates someone who has switched to a platform that frees them from Virus, Spyware, and unending security problems and hack attempts to go back to constant patching and the need to be distrusting and vigilant? Worried about Rootkits, botnets, and other dangers lurking on the Internet?

I am not saying the Mac will be safe from all of this forever at some point someone may come up with a way to infect a Mac on the Internet but for now it is very difficult to do and requires a user to actually install a program on the machine with Admin privileges to be infected. We saw the first two in the wild this year. One claiming to be Photoshop CS4 and the other claiming to be iWork 09. So as long as you are not downloading illegal software from the Internet you are fairly safe from the dangers lurking on the Internet.

Some users are still trapped on the Windows platform to a degree by companies like Intuit who keep promising Mac users versions of their software that will work on the Mac or websites that will work with browsers other than IE 6. At least design websites that work with Firefox and we will be set. Also companies like MLXchange the company that produces MLS for Real Estate Agents the end user portion works on any browser but the part the Real Estate Agent uses only works on Internet Explorer 6.

When will companies learn there are millions of users out there who want a choice? Who wants to make their computing life simple? We as Mac users do not really want to be forced into running Internet Explorer in an emulator or run Boot Camp or Parallels to do our daily work. Users forced to do this day in and day out can become frustrated and make them want to go back to Windows. Apple and Mac developers need to take a stand and start giving us real alternatives to the Windows domination we have lived with for years. While the Apple has become more compatible and things like VMWare, Parallels, and xVM Virtual Box from Sun have given Mac users the ability to run Windows the reality is we would like to stay in OS X, stay safe, and still run all of our programs.

Dealing with the heaviness of Virtual Machines and not one but two very complex Operating Systems exacts a heavy toll on the average user creating more frustration. It is time to make the computing experience easier and safer for business users as well as home users. Make the computer experience something they look forward to and don't have to fight with all the time.

It doesn't matter if you use Mac, Windows, or Linux. They are all very complex and unexpected things happen and not everything is as intuitive as we might like them to be. Not everyone wants to be a computer expert. Sometimes people just want to get their work done. Let's create an environment they can do just that.

Apple has the easiest to use of all the Operating Systems out there. So let's start getting software on Mac OS X so users don't have to switch back and forth all the time. Let's remove some of the complexity from end users computing lives. Let's help those that are thinking about switching back to Windows why they don't want to go back down that path.